CALI, COLOMBIA – Canada won the gold medal in the women’s team pursuit event at the UCI Track World Cup in Cali, Colombia, and in doing so earned the white jersey as the UCI World Cup leaders.
The four-woman team qualified with the fastest time of all countries at the race, 4:21.359, just edging the reigning Olympic Champions from Great Britain, who posted the second-fastest time of 4:21.736. The Canadian Team, comprised of Jasmin Glaesser, Allison Beveridge, Stephanie Roorda and Kirsti Lay, went on to face the rising team from China in the first round, and easily took the win by five seconds to qualify for the gold medal race.
In the second race of the first round, the United States faced Great Britain and created an upset by beating the international powerhouse by over two seconds, setting the table for an all North American gold medal race.
In the ultimate race of the night, Canada went full-out, managing to lower their qualifying time with a comfortable win over their neighbouring country by more than five seconds. Great Britain and China battled an intense dual for the bronze, with Great Britain edging their opponents by less than 0.2 seconds to round up the podium.
Canada’s women endurance coach Craig Griffin was thrilled with the performance. “This win was a great team effort from the qualifying round to the final. With a couple of riders not at 100%, the girls really stepped up to produce three solid rides in capturing the World Cup leader’s jersey after this first round. It validates the hard work they have put in at this point and indicates our training is tracking well for the 2016 World Championships and the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.”
In the women’s team sprint, Canada’s duo of Monique Sullivan and Kate O’Brien posted an impressive time of 33.726 seconds for the eighth place. The team did not advance to the medal rounds but continue to climb the international rankings, most important for the Olympic qualifications. Canada was the best country among the Americas on Friday night, posting better results than their rivals from Colombia (12th) and Mexico (14th).
Without its star rider Hugo Barrette, who crashed in training, the men’s team sprint also did well, taking the fifteenth place with a time of 45.433 seconds. The Men’s Team Pursuit event was also disputed on the opening night, with Canada taking the 12th place by posting a time of 4:05.535.
The UCI World Cup continues Saturday and ends on Sunday.